Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech University is a public, coeducational, doctoral/research university located in Lubbock, Texas. Established February 10, 1923, and originally known as Texas Technological College, it is the flagship institution of the Texas Tech University System. Texas Tech is a member of the Big 12 Conference and competes in the NCAA's Division I. Men's teams are the Red Raiders, women's teams are the Lady Raiders.
The university was a dominant member of the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association from 1932 to 1956. Texas Tech became a member of the Southwest Athletic Conference in May of 1956 and remained so until the conference was disbanded in 1995.
The Masked Rider is the oldest of Texas Tech's mascots still in existence today. Originally called "Ghost Rider," it was an unofficial mascot starting around 1936 when an unknown student (or students) would circle the field on horseback at home football games, riding into the stadium and away. The Masked Rider became the official mascot with 1954's Gator Bowl and has led the team onto the field at nearly every football game since. The Masked Rider was the nation's first horse ridden mascot used in football games. The Florida State Seminoles and the USC Trojans are the most notable schools that use such a mascot today.
Tech's other current mascot, Raider Red, is more recent. Around the time of the 1971 football season, the Southwest Conference created a rule that forbade the bringing of live animal mascots to away games unless the host school permitted it. Since the Masked Rider's horse would fall under this rule an alternate mascot was created. Jim Gaspard, a member of the Saddle Tramps student spirit organization, created the original design for the Raider Red costume, basing it on a character created by Lubbock cartoonist and former mayor Dirk West. Though the Masked Rider's identity is public knowledge, it has always been tradition that Raider Red's student alter ego is kept secret until the end of his tenure. The student serving as Raider Red is a member of Saddle Tramps.
Bob Knight has served as the men's basketball coach since 2001. On New Year's Day 2007, a 70-68 defeat of New Mexico by Tech marked the 880th total win for Knight, making him the winningest coach in college basketball history. In 2008 Bob Knights son Pat Knight took over as head coach.
Men's Basketball Record Since 1999
- 1999 - 13-16 (5-11)
- 2000 - 11-16 (3-13)
- 2001 - 9-19 (3-13)
- 2002 - 13-16 (5-11)
- 2003 - 23-11 (10-8)
- 2004 - 22-11 (10-7)
- 2005 - 15-17 (7-11)
- 2006 - 21-12 (10-8)
Texas Tech has had great success in women's basketball. Led by its star player Sheryl Swoopes and head coach Marsha Sharp, the Lady Raiders won the national championship in 1993. In early 2006, Lady Raiders coach Marsha Sharp resigned and was replaced on March 30, 2006 by Kristy Curry, who had been coaching at Purdue.